Meet The Inventor
Matt has always been an inventor at heart. Applying his educational and professional experience in design, art, and economics, he developed the first prototype of the Edge Brownie Pan in the late 1990’s.
Collaborating with his wife (and bakeware muse) Emily, he subsequently refined the pan, obtained a patent, and then decided to bring the product to market.
An honors graduate of Ball State University, Matt has degrees in economics and urban planning and was a member of the school’s cross country team. (He’s still pretty fast, or at least claims to be.) Matt’s also an alumnus of “Indy’s Best and Brightest” and the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under Forty” list, which honors the achievements and contributions of young Indianapolis professionals. He owns two patents and a third is pending.
Meet The Chef
Emily Griffin, the original award-winning Chef and recipe guru, devoted most of her time to product testing, taste testing, and the development of new recipes for the Baker’s Edge product line for almost two decades.
Chef Griffin earned her culinary degree at the prestigious Sullivan University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, and has worked with renowned Chefs in several states. Her accolades include “Best Italian Dessert in Indianapolis” and she’s been featured in several publications, including Indianapolis Monthly, Indianapolis Woman, Carmel Magazine, and the Indiana Business Journal. Chef Griffin also serves on the advisory board for the new Chef’s Academy based in Indianapolis… and clearly, she has the better resume.
Matt from long ago...
Matt: I had just graduated from Ball State University and was a few months into my first job. During lunch on a particularly frustrating day at the office, my boss was telling me about an episode of Oprah featuring inventors. One of the guests on the show, a young girl named Abbey Fleck, had invented a microwave bacon rack and earned millions of dollars from it in just a few years. We laughed about the luck of it all and dismissed it as if she’d hit the lottery…but then I thought about it.
The truth is that she was creative, smart, and ambitious. She identified a problem and invented a brilliant solution, and that simple thought inspired me. After all, if a middle-school student can create a useful product, surely a hardworking 24 year-old college graduate should stand a chance, right?
That very evening, while chewing on a warm brownie (a corner brownie, my favorite), and thinking about inventions, it suddenly struck me. I love corner brownies – and a simple redesign of the conventional pan could give me a pan full of them. The design was so obvious and straightforward, I was convinced someone else had already thought of it. As it turns out, nobody had.
I developed the concept for the Edge Brownie Pan in 1998, but it wasn’t until 2002 that my wife Emily and I cleaned out our savings account to make the first prototypes. (A very scary moment, to say the least.) In January of 2005, seven years after the thought first popped into my head, we produced our first pan.
Then a chef stirs the pot...
Emily: I’ve always had an interest in cooking and baking. I remember as a little girl watching my grandma bake homemade bread and angel food cakes, and being amazed that she never used a recipe, yet it always tasted wonderful.
In college, I was the roommate who made homemade cookies for everyone and always cooked my own meals. I never ate a package of Ramen noodles and called it dinner. I had grown up with actual meals, so I couldn’t stand living on macaroni and cheese just because it was cheap and easy.
After college, I purchased a cake decorating book and would practice decorating cakes on my coffee table at night. I even tried my hand at one of my grandma’s favorites, lemon meringue pie. I began taking all my extra cakes and baked goods into work because I couldn’t eat them all... the next thing I knew, people were asking me if they could place an order.
I figured it might be fun, so I started by baking a few cakes a month. Six months later, I completed my first wedding cake. I began to realize that I not only loved it, my customers were really happy with my work. So, I decided to take the plunge and attend culinary school. I applied for scholarships, quit my job, and moved to Kentucky with Matt to attend Sullivan University. It was a big leap of faith at the time, but I’m so glad I did it. I received my baking and pastry arts degree from Sullivan and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
At that time, Matt was refining his idea for the Edge Brownie Pan. We spent days and weeks and months thinking about the details of the design... it took a lot of late nights to get everything just right. Matt was also cramming his brain full of intellectual property law so he could file a patent application. At times, it felt like we were both back in school -- studying, writing, and spending a lot of time in the library.
And they entered a contest...
Matt: It makes me laugh when I think about it... it’s definitely an unconventional way to start a new business.
For months we tried to get investors on board, but we got a very abrupt “thanks but no thanks” from almost everyone we approached. You’d have thought we were trying to sell people triangular wheels. But it’s understandable. At the time, our business consisted of youngsters with no prior experience and a few crude prototypes. At first glance, I’m sure we looked like a very risky proposition. A long shot.
The “Ideas Happen” contest, sponsored by VISA and MSN, was huge for us. I remember entering at the last minute and I don’t think we thought winning was a real possibility. Before we even knew what was happening, I found myself in the finals... people were finding us on the contest website and the votes just kept rolling in.
A few months later we had $25,000 in prize money – which is enormous, but only barely enough to start a bakeware company. It was an incredible step up - and crazy and unbelievable.
Emily: I’d also just given birth to our first child, Gavin. Matt and I were learning how to be parents, trying to start a new business, working late nights and weekends... and the pan was beginning to develop a life of its own. A lot was happening all at once.
Matt: No question. But it was all really, really good! Although, I do remember not getting nearly enough sleep.
What a ride...
Matt: It’s been an amazing ride, and almost none of it has gone according to plan. I think we imagined our business would unfold and evolve in a way that was fairly ordinary. You know, predictable and slow. We knew we had great products to offer, but because the designs are so different we thought it might take years for people to accept them. Instead, the exact opposite has been true.
Emily: Almost by accident, I think we discovered a market that nobody knew existed. Most people really are willing to embrace new ideas and solutions, if the products deliver what they promise.
Matt: In March 2006, the home page of our website was hit maybe 500 times. In March 2007, it was hit 50,000 times. We’re now getting email from people all over the world. It’s almost surreal... way beyond our expectations. It’s such a huge thrill for us. Nearly every day something new and cool and crazy happens.
In 2022 we made a big, awesome change
Matt: In 2022, we found ourselves at a crossroads. Mark from Sorfeo Brands called us and an opportunity presented itself that would allow our tiny company to take a big step up. After operating Baker’s Edge for 20+ years, we knew that to really grow and expand, we needed to hand the steering wheel over to a team that could execute, innovate, and do such with the same passion and goofiness that we had been giving since inventing the Edge vs Center debate in 1998.
After a whirlwind courtship with Sorfeo, we tied the knot with their team. Baker’s Edge is officially owned and managed by Sorfeo!
Mark: It doesn’t hurt that I called Matt daily! Seriously though, Baker’s Edge and their products met all our criteria for a strong product that has tons of potential. Our entire team, and investors, jumped at the opportunity to take the helm and make Baker’s Edge into a nationally recognized product and brand.
Matt: Sorfeo seemed like such a natural fit for Baker’s Edge. Mark and his team have TONS of experience in bringing products to market – and they have a keen sense when it comes to detail, design, and ultimately what people want from a product. Emily and I still lend our expertise to the Sorfeo squad, but we are eager to see what their brain power can do with what we started. We like to think we nurtured a tree to its sapling stage, and that they are going to grow it into a mighty oak! Anything amazing that happens from this point forward – that’s the genius work of Sorfeo! Also, that means if you call or write – you are likely to get top notch customer service and quick responses. With Sorfeo's full team working on Baker’s Edge every single day…good things are going to happen!
Dana: Aw, I'm customer service. Thank you, Matt. I ADORE these pans.
Mark: Matt and Emily created an iconic product, and the entire team is excited. We can’t wait to show you what we have been baking up for this fun brand – and will be sharing more and more over the next few years! Stay tuned!
The story continues....
We adore this brand, these pans, and you.
The best is yet to come.